Ja Morant – Murray State, PG
The Murray State Racers will look to continue their late-season success, having won 11 straight games entering the tournament with a difficult opening matchup against five-seed Marquette and the nation’s leading scorer, Markus Howard. However, Murray State will likely be a Cinderella favorite for many due to their superstar point guard, Ja Morant.
Ja Morant might be the best imaginable fit for the Timberwolves’ roster if Minnesota can manage to move up in the lottery for his projected top-three draft stock. Morant can do it all, averaging over 24 points, 10 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is a decent shooter from long-range but excels at finishing around the rim and finding open teammates.
His high-flying dunks and ability to take over games will certainly make Morant a fan-favorite in March. Morant enters the tournament coming off of a 36-point performance in the OVC title game against Belmont, earning the Racers an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.
Ja Morant is the type of point guard that Minnesota needs for the future: an all-around playmaker who can create his own shot and handle the ball with ease. Morant would instantly be the Wolves’ starter and have the upside of a true superstar who would be deadly in the pick-and-roll next to Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Timberwolves front office will have plenty of eyes on Morant during the tournament with the hopes that a lucky bounce in the lottery could land Minnesota in a position to draft the young guard this summer.
Opening game: vs. Marquette on Thursday at 3:30 pm CT